The summer season finally kicks in with the return of live entertainment to Ireland's cities and towns, aided in no small part by the Live Performance Support Scheme, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

For now, capacities are still limited, and distancing protocols still have to be adhered to, but after a long stretch without live entertainment, we couldn't be more excited for the weeks and months ahead. Here are a handful of choice upcoming events - show your support!

MOTHER SUMMER BLOCK PARTY

Where? The National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin

When? Saturday, September 18th

For their 'big queer comeback party', club stalwarts Mother are hosting an outdoor bash in Clarke Square at the National Museum of Ireland, hosted by the Queen of Ireland, Miss Panti Bliss, and featuring over 40 performers - the star turn has to be the mighty Denise Chaila, playing her first headline show since winning the RTÉ Choice prize earlier this year. Elsewhere, you'll see shows from Shirley Temple Bar, Dragged Up, Davina Devine, Veda X Bitches with Wolves, SIS, Disco Utopia, Haus of W.I.G and more. It's already sold out, but a waiting list is in operation, should Covid restrictions ease before September 18th.

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THE GREAT BEYOND

Where? Ballinacurra House, Kinsale, Cork

When? Saturday 11th September + Sunday 12th September 2021

This new two-day bash offers live music and comedy in the stunning surrounds of Ballinacurra House, Kinsale, Co. Cork. Acts taking to the two stages over the two days include: BellX1, Lisa Hannigan, The Frank & Walters, Wallis Bird, The Scratch, Marc O’Reilly, Bernard Casey, Laura O’Mahony, Naked Animals, Paddy Dennehy, Rowan, Ultan Conlon, Cry Monster Cry, Robert John Ardiff, Míde Houlihan, The Céilí All-Stars, Les Salamandas and the Cork City Samba Band.

Lisa Hannigan

ALL BOATS RISE

Where? Along the River Barrow and the Royal and Grand canals.

When? August 7th - September 7th 2021

Folk duo Ye Vagabonds have been planning a very ambitious and novel trip for over a year now - they're taking to the inland waterways of Ireland for over a month for their All Boats Rise tour.

Brothers Brían and Diarmuid MacGloinn will travel by barge along with filmmaker Myles O'Reilly, and will perform small, informal 'happenings' of many different strands throughout the smattering of counties that encompass the River Barrow and the Royal and Grand canals. Special musical guests will include Laura Quirke, John Francis Flynn, Cormac Begley, FeliSpeaks, Brigid Mae Power, Anja Murray, Manchán Magan, Erin Fornoff, Leo O’Kelly, and Thomas McCarthy and more.

Hakuna Matata

FIESTAIVAL

Where? Railway Union Sports Club, Sandymount, Dublin

When? Saturday August 21st & Sunday August 22nd

Shows daily at 10.30am, 2pm & 5.30pm

Dublin 4's Railway Union Sports Club will be transformed into a bustling free-to-attend (advance booking is required) summer festival for all ages, with entertainment from master magicians, spectacular sword-swallowers and stilt-walkers, floor-fillers from bop-worthy bands and musical mash-ups aplenty.

THE LAST BROADCAST

Where? Cyprus Avenue and the Cork School of Music

When? Saturday August 21st (Online)

This live streamed gig, features five up and coming Cork acts - Toucan, Rowan, Míde Houlihan, Sara Ryan, and Jordan Run - performing live in Cyprus Avenue and the Cork School of Music. The event will be broadcast on Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Vimeo, as well as being screened in a number of Cork City venues and bars as it is happening. The idea is to give people a chance to enjoy live music while they're out, while still adhering to current Covid guidelines - find out more here.

THE GRAND AULD STRETCH

Where? Nimmo's Pier, Galway

When? Friday 13th - Sunday 22nd August

The team behind Róisín Dubh, the Galway Comedy Festival and Strange Brew teamed up to bring a stellar line up of comedy and music in a brand new purpose-built outdoor venue at Nimmo’s Pier on the banks of the River Corrib, with a line-up that includes Tommy Tiernan, Mick Flannery, The Dirty Circus, John Conneely Inc, HousePlants, Jape, Buckshot Podcast and more.